142 Tasting Notes

I really loved Twinings Blackcurrent in college. I was pretty sad when it started tasting a bit chemically to me. This is a great replacement. It’s a deep but still brisk base tea with a less-pronounced but deeply delicious berry note. It’s less fruity than Twinings, but in a really nice way. I bet this would make a terrific cold brew too.

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This is it, my winning Earl Grey Creme. No doubt there are plenty I haven’t tried, but no need to move on from here. The dry leaf smells like a fruity marshmallow, then brews up to a well-balanced, creamy, fruity, floral Earl Grey. The base tea is Celyon but not one of the tangiest – still, a nice offset to the creaminess. It has none of the chemical notes that can put me off some Earl Greys.

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This was a sale item I threw into my giant stock up on their Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Concubine oolong (which is really something to stock up on), and I was excited about the idea of Eco-Cha quality oolong in a travel-friendly tea bag. So, two different reviews.

As a travel tea: Pretty good. I’ll definitely take this with me on my next trip, and it’ll give me something pleasant, hot, and resteepable to have easily available. And I’ll really enjoy that. Despite it’s delicacy, it does have a touch of that oolong creaminess that I’ve never found in a tea bag before.

When I’m at home and have other choices: This wouldn’t really ever make the menu. It’s too delicate, and I’m not sure whether that is attributable to the tea itself or to the leaves struggling to expand in the tea bag (which really puffed up!). And there is a little flavor of the bag itself (when did I get to be so sensitive? Did I just write that?).

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This is delicious. Not the right answer for someone looking for a flavored or fruity tea, the description is correct about the ‘classic umami’ flavors of the green tea itself, which is wonderful, and the plum blossom adds only a very delicate rounding of the flavor, a lightly discernible sweet complement to the tea itself. The floral aspect is quite a bit less obvious than in, say, a jasmine green (at least those I’ve tasted). I think this has unexpectedly found a spot in the permanent collection.

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drank Cloud and Mist by Mandala Tea
142 tasting notes

I am almost never excited by an unflavored green tea, but this one is right up there with some of my all time favorite oolongs. I’m as curious as anyone how it got there. Particularly when I try to put it into words… hay over seaweed broth? Nothing about those words makes me think this is one of the very few teas that I plan to keep on hand at all times. But I do and I will.


This is great!! Thank you for this. Your review put a smile on my face, for sure. I’m looking forward to having this tea from this same grower for a long, long time. It won’t be long and the spring crop will become available, once again.

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drank Peach Oolong by American Tea Room
142 tasting notes

I have very bad luck with flavored oolongs. And by bad luck I mean I don’t like them ever. So I continued torturing myself with this peach. It sounded good. The dry leaf smelled terrific. And I love ATR’s Immortal Green (peach green). But this didn’t do it for me. It tasted like a light peach herbal tea to me. Time to stop barking up this tree, as soon as I try their coconut oolong I also ordered.

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drank L'Apaisante by Camellia Sinensis
142 tasting notes

I was just feeling out of sorts, with an upset belly, and the description on this one made it seem like a good bet. It was. You’d think a Campari drinker would know better than to expect sweetness from a bright red tea, but I was still surprised that it was so…grainlike? If I closed my eyes I thought of basil and millet while actually tasting neither. Only after reading the description did I pick up on the anise – and I really hate anise in tea. But not in this one. It steps to the back and doesn’t leave that Ouzo stickiness. And it did settle my belly!

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Meh. This has a nice, light fruity, extra floral thing going on, and if you’re into that, this is a nice, lightly astringent, balanced green blend.

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drank Earl of Anxi by Verdant Tea
142 tasting notes

I knew when I tasted Laoshan Black followed by Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha that I liked where Verdant is going with their blending ideas. There is no doubt Earl of Anxi is another masterpiece. It just tastes like it makes sense. Like it was supposed to be that way, with no one component trying to drown out the others. In a blind tasting, I would have picked out the delicious, creamy oolong base and then decided that they probably invented a new spice and a new fruit that have never existed before. Its flavor is so new to my palate, that I’m going to have to give it several tries. I do like it already, but I have a feeling that I just don’t quite get yet how to process it. So I don’t yet know if it’s love, but it could be.


Ahhhh…One of my absolute LOVES from Verdant

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drank Zeste Eclair by Camellia Sinensis
142 tasting notes

Sniffing the dry rooibos blend made me think I had a lemon bomb on my hands, and I mean that in a good way. After brewing, what we have here is a gentle, but deep and delicious lemon with a touch of spice. This is the best thing I’ve ever seen anyone do to rooibos.

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I love cooking, gardening, photography, studying languages, alleys, riding bikes everywhere, snowboarding, travel, dogs, and oddly, housekeeping (as much as one can with another career). Also working on the lifelong dream of starting a business.

If I could only drink four teas ever again, they would be Black Beauty (Mandala), Huang Zhi Xiang Phoenix Mountain Dancong (Verdant), Silver Buds Yabao (Verdant), and Shan Lin Xi Concubine (Eco-Cha, at least the fall 2013). These teas are ridiculous.

Current tea shops under exploration:
Camellia Sinensis

Wish list:
Mountain Tea
Den’s Tea
Taiwan Tea Crafts
Tea Drunk
Suggestions welcome!


Orlando, Florida

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